This model was collected on Ta'u, part of American Samoa. Collection of this model was made in partnership with NOAA's Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) on an expedition to monitor the reefs around American Samoa.
This particular model is of the coral nicknamed "Big Mama"- a large Porites colony thought to be over 500 years old!
This model was created using Structure from Motion (SfM) technology and is visualized using the custom built software Viscore developed by Vid Petrovic and Falko Kuester as part of the Cultural Heritage Engineering Initiative (CHEI) at UC San Diego.
Learn more at 100islandchallenge.org !
For the hundreds of millions of people living adjacent to coral reefs, this productive ecosystem provides important shoreline protection and critical food security.
Alarmingly, a combination of local human influences and global climatic changes are altering the structure and functioning of many reef ecosystems.
For years, our team at Scripps Institution of Oceanography has been working to establish a regional scale perspective of coral reef health, investigating how reefs are structured, how they change over time, and how we can better manage them in the face of global change.
This 3D model was collected at Flint Island, Southern Line Islands, Republic of Kiribati, in 2013.
One of the most remote and pristine islands on the planet, Flint Island, and the southern Line Islands as a whole, offer researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography the rare opportunity to study coral reefs in pristine states over large scale physical gradients known to influence reef development.
To accelerate this crucial effort, we propose a campaign of field surveys across the tropical Pacific and beyond that will generate critical data about reef ecosystems through time.
By using a collection of survey technologies coupled with ecological theory and quantitative models, we will gain important insights into the relative condition of coral reefs from across locations, using large-scale geographic scope to provide context for comparisons across locations.
By developing a rigorous and repeatable sampling protocol, especially with the inclusion and sharing of high-resolution data (fish, benthic, oceanographic) and novel reef visualization products (i.e. large-area ‘photomosaics’) in collaboration with engineers, we can inform and educate managers and other stakeholders about how their coral reefs work and what is needed to ensure that reefs persist into the future.